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May 13, 2019


Fort Walton Beach, Fla. — The Florida Department of Health in Okaloosa County would like to thank Gilbert Family Home Daycare for their hard work in making their business 100% tobacco free. Beginning October 1, 2018, Gilbert Family Home Daycare’s banned all types of nicotine, including e-cigarettes, from its facility.

While it is common knowledge that smoking is bad for the smoker, not many consider the effect this addiction has on local businesses. In Florida alone, the annual direct costs to the economy related to smoking exceed $19.6 billion, including: workplace productivity losses of $4.4 billion; premature death losses of $7.9 billion; and direct medical expenditures of $7.2 billion.1 Between the additional healthcare costs and losses in productivity, an employee who smokes could cost a business more than $6,000 every year.2 For each employee that quits, a business can save as much as $2,000 per year through reduced insurance cost.3

“DOH-Okaloosa is proud of the commitment of local businesses to make Okaloosa County a healthier place to live, learn, work, and play,” said Dr. Karen Chapman, Director of DOH-Okaloosa. “By taking a stand against tobacco, we can help make Okaloosa County tobacco free.”

Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable disease and death in Florida and the United States.4 On average, smokers die 10 years earlier than nonsmokers.5 Smoking can also cost individuals a lot more than just their health. A pack-a-day smoker in Florida can spend more than $2,000 in just one year and more than $10,000 in five years on cigarettes.
Tobacco Free Florida’s Quit Your Way program makes it easier than ever for tobacco users to access evidence-based, free tools and services to help them quit tobacco. For more information, please visit

People can also access Tobacco Free Florida’s online Cost Calculator to find out how much money they could save by quitting smoking at


About the Florida Department of Health
The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit

About Tobacco Free Florida
The department’s Tobacco Free Florida campaign is a statewide cessation and prevention campaign funded by Florida’s tobacco settlement fund. Since the program began in 2007, more than 212,000 Floridians have successfully quit using one of Tobacco Free Florida's free tools and services. There are now approximately 451,000 fewer adult smokers in Florida than there was 10 years ago, and the state has saved $17.7 billion in health care costs. To learn more about Tobacco Free Florida’s Quit Your Way services, visit or follow the campaign on Facebook at or on Twitter at

1 Penn State. “Potential Costs and Benefits of Smoking Cessation for Florida.” 30 April 2010. Web. 1 March
2 Berman, Micah, Crane, Rob, Seiber, Eric, Munur, Mehmet. Estimating the cost of a smoking employee. British Medical Journal.
2014;176(12):1792-1798. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.6530.
3 Berman, Micah, Crane, Rob, Seiber, Eric, Munur, Mehmet. Estimating the cost of a smoking employee. British Medical Journal.
2014;176(12):1792-1798. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.6530.
4 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the
Surgeon General. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National
Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2014.
5 Jha P, Ramasundarahettige C, Landsman V, et al. 21st Century Hazards of Smoking and Benefits of Cessation in the United
States. New England Journal of Medicine 2013;368:341–50 [accessed 2017 Mar 28].